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A somber Xi Jinping walked across the plush red stage of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing and took his place at the center. A line of men followed silently behind, falling in on both sides of him. Are you on Telegram? Subscribe to our channel for the latest updates on Russia’s war in Ukraine. ArrowRight And with that one short, stiff walk, Xi was anointed Sunday as China’s uncontested leader for five, if not many more years, as he concentrates power to a degree not seen since the days of Mao Zedong and positions his country defiantly against the West.
At a party plenum that followed the close of the twice-a-decade Communist Party congress, Xi introduced the men at his side — the newly chosen members of the seven-member standing committee, the party’s apex of power. Xi is at the top.
The Chinese people, led by the party, have put in “sweat and toil” to “open a Chinese path to modernization,” Xi said in a speech. “This is a great yet enormous undertaking. The enormity of the task is what makes it great and infinitely glorious.”
A week earlier, he had opened the 20th National Party Congress with a triumphalist report delivered to more than 2,000 delegates that emphasized the party’s mission of transforming China into a socialist superpower and a “new choice” for humanity.
“There is no bottom line. There are no rules. All the rules have been broken,” said Cai Xia, a former professor at the Central Party School wh